Loma Linda, Calif. (PRWEB) August 12, 2014
Graduates of Loma Linda University School of Medicine are helping to deliver health care to patients in the midst of the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Dr. Gillian Seton, a 2008 graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine, is serving since February 2014 at Cooper Adventist Hospital in Liberia.
Another physician, Dr. James Appel, a 2000 graduate of the Loma Linda University School of Medicine, is expected to arrive this week in Liberia to provide medical care alongside Seton at Cooper Adventist Hospital. Appel has spent the last decade as a family medicine physician in the north-central African country of Chad.
The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, in collaboration with Adventist Health International based in Loma Linda, has decided to keep Cooper Adventist Hospital open in Liberia in spite of the virus outbreak. The 45-bed hospital and its associated Eye Hospital, is located in the heart of Monrovia, the capital where nearly a third of the country’s four million people live. The Republic of Liberia was founded by freed American and Carribbean slaves, and declared its independence in 1847.
Many public hospitals in the West African nation and adjacent areas have shut down or are refusing to take on new patients, but the staff and faculty at Cooper made the decision to remain open for treatment of non-Ebola related illnesses. They are continuing to screen patients prior to entering the hospital grounds in order to remain free of the Ebola virus as near as possible, so that they will be a source of help and safety to their patients and staff.
Working as a general surgeon at the hospital, Seton said she believes the need for medical treatment outweighs the dangers involved in staying.
“The most dangerous place to be right now is in a hospital, but what are you to do when you have a patient with an OB emergency? Appendicitis? Severe Malaria with almost un-survivable anemia?” she asked.
Seton said they have not closed the hospital because they’ve seen how desperate people are to get help after they have been turned away from four or five hospitals due to staff-enforced closures.
Dr. Richard H. Hart, president of Adventist Health International and president of Loma Linda University Health, said the agency is continuing to support Cooper’s operations by subsidizing costs and providing supplies for the hospital. He said additional professional staff may be sent to Liberia, and only staff who volunteer to stay are reporting to work.
“I am proud of our staff at Cooper, particularly Gillian and James, who have chosen duty over safety and have chosen to continue providing medical care,” Hart said. He said a special infectious disease unit has now been established at another hospital to care for suspected Ebola patients, providing a critical referral option for Cooper Hospital.
Another Adventist Health International hospital, Waterloo Adventist Hospital in Sierra Leone, is also facing the Ebola crisis. Both Cooper and Waterloo are in need of outside help to pay for additional supplies, equipment, and medical staff.
For more information about the humanitarian response to the crisis, please visit: http://www.ahiglobal.org.
Photo Caption: Graduates of Loma Linda University School of Medicine are helping to deliver health care to patients in the midst of the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa. In the first photo, Dr. Gillian Seton (center) is flanked by Dr. Roger Hadley (left), dean of Loma Linda University School of Medicine, and Dr. Carlos Garberoglio, professor and chair of surgery at Loma Linda University School of Medicine. In the second photo, Dr. James Appel and his wife, Sarah, are joined by Dr. Richard Hart (top), president of Adventist Health International and Loma Linda University Health.
About Adventist Health International
Adventist Health International (AHI) is a multinational nonprofit corporation with headquarters in Loma Linda, California. AHI has been established to provide coordination, consultation, management, and technical assistance to hospitals and health care services operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, primarily in developing countries. AHI is not a funding agency and depends on various organizations, foundations, governments and individuals to provide financial assistance when needed.
About Loma Linda University Health (LLUH)
Loma Linda University Health includes Loma Linda University's eight professional schools, Loma Linda University Medical Center's six hospitals and more than 800 faculty physicians located in the Inland Empire of Southern California. Established in 1905, LLUH is a global leader in education, research and clinical care. It offers over 100 academic programs and provides quality health care to 40,000 inpatients and 1.5 million outpatients each year. A Seventh-day Adventist organization, LLUH is a faith-based health system with a mission "to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ."